House Sold; Resigning; Retirement

On the 16th of March we put our home on the market. At 1300 Mountain time on that day the house went live.  By 1430, an hour and a half later, we had four showings scheduled the first day.  Over the course of the week there were somewhere around 21 or 22 showings, there were five or six offers on the house and by Saturday we’d signed a contract.

On Thursday, 30 April 2015 we closed the deal at about 1400 local time.  We met the new owner (JoAnne had met him a couple times previously, but it was my first time).  He had some questions about the hot tub, and we eventually went over to show him how to care for it and so on.  Stopped by once for mail and met him again, and the wife showed him her garden.

Anyway, the closing went relatively smoothly.  Everything worked out for both sides.  He got a nice, completely remodeled house, we got money in the bank to fund our travels.

Yesterday morning JoAnne and I both turned in our resignation notices.  Mine to my company site program manager and her to her organization at the AFA.  It wasn’t a surprise to anyone because we’ve talked about this for so long as far as some are concerned we should have just shut up, lol.

My last day here is the 22nd of May, her’s is on the 15th.

We have some work on the truck to accomplish.  We need some front end work, new tires and the new topper should be here this week, probably later today or tomorrow.  This weekend we’re house sitting and going to go through our trailer (we’re down to a 8X4 single axle trailer) and hoping to pare down about 30% of the junk inside.  Nothing is going that we don’t need on the boat, or can’t easily replace at the other end.  We’ll take the trailer to where we’re house sitting and go through it in the barn there.

The week she takes off I’ll put the truck in for work, and drive her Jeep.

We’re going to sell the Jeep to the highest bidder after that. I also need to sell my mountain bike and my telescope.  If anyone needs a bike or a telescope, get in touch…. they aren’t cheap items though, so just be aware.

It has been raining now, pretty much for 3 days straight.  It’s appearing like it will continue through this weekend, so we’re hoping to do all our trailer work in a barn on the property we’re watching (as well as our weekly laundry) haha.

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to a Face Book Group for the Transworld Formosa 41.  The folks have been very nice, and helpful as well.  Hopefully when we get to our boat we can be of more help to them than we are now, but we shall see.

With luck, the creek don’t rise and I don’t have a heart attack we should be on the road somewhere around 1-3 June.

Last note here;  Yesterday a lady here at work told me one of our former co-workers was doing the same thing.  Selling up and sailing out.  He contacted me today.  Jim M., is looking for a sailboat somewhere in the Florida area now, and his house too, is under contract.  He’s hoping to head East from Colorado sometime around July if all goes well.

I am looking forward to meeting up with him eventually down in the Florida area sometime later this year. I sent him all our contact information and spoke to him on the phone for a short time, gave him some information about what we’re doing and so on.  It is good to see others following the Dream.

And, we have had dozens of people contact us telling us that we have “inspired them”… whether they will follow their dreams, I can’t say.  I can hope though.
Fair Winds!

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Begin Countdown….

Home Sale

Today is Good Friday, April 3rd, 2015. Today is “appraisal day” for the house. The buyer has an appraiser meeting with our realtor to go through the house today to see if it’s worth all this effort.

JoAnne met the buyer last week during the inspection, who indicated he was happy with the house, it was the “best” he’d seen in the price range, and he was sold on the view, deck and hot tub I believe she told me.

The inspection went well, but they found a couple of electrical items of which I was unaware. I can fix them, but he specifically requested a “licensed professional”. While I am a professional, I’m not licensed for electrical work in this state… so, no big deal. We accepted his objections and we’ll fix them, do an inspection and purchase a home warranty on the house for the next few months. Basically, the contract is still in force, and we’re moving on with it as if going to close on the designated date.

Hence the reason for this post. C-Day (Close Day) is April 30th. Twenty seven days. That gives us another week or so in the house and then we have to move out. If all goes well with the appraisal we will pack up and move.

I’m going over this afternoon to look at a small trailer in which to place a few tubs containing what’s left of our belongings. I mean “all the junk we collected over the years”. You can not believe how much stuff we gave to Good Will, threw out, passed on to the kids, neighbors and random people walking down the street, lol.

We have essentials left. Eating utensils, dishes, cups, cook ware, a small but useful propane grill, our ham radio equipment (and not much of that is left), our instruments and clothing. That is about all we have left. All of it has to fit in tubs, which then must fit inside a small trailer, which must fit in a tiny space beside my daughter’s house for the short time we will be with her.

After close, after the dust settles, after the money “is in the bank” and after we have a few days to decompress, we will set a final date, notify our respective companies of our departure and start planning our trip across country.

If everything goes well, by the end of May we should be leaving. We should be in New York at Stony Point by not later than the second week of June. If the Marina has painted and done the jobs I’ve asked for by then, we will be ready to commission the boat within a day or so of our arrival.

At that point we plan to have a short, relatively private “ceremony” to officially rename the boat, splash her and do some test sails, plan our trip down the ICW and our first 2-3 stops along the way.

That’s the general plan, everything is subject to change, there’s always a Plan B, C, D and usually E. We have learned to not set ANYTHING in concrete and be ready to improvise, adapt and overcome. So the count down begins.

Transworld Formosa 41 – Adventure

I had a rather nice surprise waiting in email yesterday (so did JoAnne). The person who runs a Facebook Owners Page for the Transworld Formosas contacted us via email and invited us to join the page (which we did). It is interesting that he had posted images of “Duna” on the FB site the very day I was writing checks, moving money and getting things in place for the purchase of said vessel.

Kurt is the owner of one of the Formosas and there are several others on the page who also have similar (not exactly alike ) vessels. I’m sure that we will all be hearing much more from one-another in the near future. If I get the chance, I’ll post some images of the various boats here.

Contact Page

By the way, the Contact Page (https://windsoftime.us/contact-page/) has been modified with a new email address for us at the boat (which may change one more time before this is over).

RV

Last notes, the Dodge Shasta RV we bought originally for the trip has become no longer necessary. We sold it last week at a loss just to remove it from the yard and give it to someone who can (and will) use it.

Last things to do….

Somewhere along the way I got a chance to breathe and evaluate where we’re at.

Yesterday wasn’t that day though. I was finishing the kitchen counters, repainting a wall and preparing the house for going on the market.  A few days ago though, I was able to, through wheezing and coughing from a horrible cold, to examine where we’ve come in six years.

Remember we had a Five Year Plan.  In that plan there were certain things to accomplish and we did them all well before the five years was up.  That included saving money, fixing up the house, selling things (including our sailboat, dinghy, my Jeep… I hate that I sold my Jeep so soon… but oh well, it’s just “stuff”).  The plan included getting out from under debt (we did that), paid off and essentially stopped using credit cards.  We moved all our accounts to a new, investment bank, and I was able to replace our hot tub (with CASH), paid off the house (ok, I still owe a few bucks, but it’s done too soon) and set up a Home Equity Line of Credit, like a revolving charge account against the house.

We used that to get some work done.

We also used it to buy our new boat.

As of a week ago, we have our Ship’s Radio License (Call sign: WDH8090), the boat is now properly registered in Delaware, the USCG paperwork was completed and we should see that soon, we have a notarized “bill of sale” until the official paperwork arrives.

So I have only one more important thing to do.  Sell the house.  It will be going on the market late this week or early next week.  JoAnne had her 6 months check up since Chemo and she’s doing well.  I’ve got a full physical scheduled for April.  The boat storage is paid through the end of April at the marina.

I’ll be contacting the marina manager to arrange for a bottom paint job next week (to be accomplished when the weather is better there) and to have the name and hailing port repainted,,, then when we splash we’ll do a traditional renaming ceremony (no, I’m not superstitious, but you know, it can’t hurt right? :))

So, ladies and gentlemen, this is the home stretch for us. Or more accurately the “Selling the Home” stretch.

And before I close out, I just spoke to JoAnne.  She is fine with getting the house on the market by the weekend, so I’ll shoot for next Monday to give the family members a heads up (we have a son,  grand-daughterand a room-mate staying with us currently) so as not to shock them too badly, we’ll let them know tonight.  I’ll contact the broker today and get him going, give him a date and see if he wants to come back by the house and look things over or not and go for it.

…Deep Breath…. JUMP IN!

 

Final Closing Statement

I have in my hands the final closing statement on the boat.

The Transworld Formosa 41 formerly called “Duna”, now being called Adventure (and will be officially renamed in a traditional ceremony) officially belongs to JoAnne and I as of today. We’re awaiting word that the former owner has had his money transmitted to him from the broker, but at this point it’s out of our hands and in the escrow account.

USCG Documentation is being done.

I’ll be sending the paperwork to Delaware to register as soon as the title arrives (tomorrow probably).

I have one more form to send back to the broker tonight (for Maryland tax peeps, cuz, you know everyone wants all their pennies).

Other than that…. We now own a boat.

Next stop, the doctor’s office on 29th for JoAnne to have a check up and we’ll be insisting on a CT scan. After that we’ll put the house on the market and cross our fingers. We figure March to April time frame (maybe sooner, as we have people interested, we have a broker and everyone is just waiting for us to pull the trigger).

The plan after that is to go across country, visit friends, get to the boat, do some of the maintenance we need to do, paint the bottom, splash the boat and find something a few hours travel away to get to and go. Oh, and maybe sell our truck…or something. Hell, I might give it to someone. lol

Of course, it’s a couple months’ of groceries worth I suppose.

That’s where we’re at today.

Fair Winds Friends!

Survey on the boat

Last night we received the soft copy for the survey of the vessel we are considering.  As I mentioned before, I flew out last Wednesday and then spent Thursday with the surveyor going over the boat in detail.  He’d already spent a good deal of time (I’d hired him as a consultant to act as my “eyes on site” before I decided to make an offer. He reported the boat in good shape with apparently minor issues and suggested I probably would like to pursue the purchase.  He also suggested a “full survey” with me present.

As it turns out, he did almost the entire survey without me, charged me a couple of hours of his time and didn’t write the actual report.  What he really did was spend more than two hours and had all his notes and showed me everything wrong he’d found.  The survey reflects his work on both days and is thorough in detail.  Being there in person is a highly recommended experience for any potential boat purchase – in particular larger vessels like this one.  I personally can recommend being present.  You can ask questions and they will explain things to you.  The surveyor’s purpose is to evaluate the vessel and then place an appraisal on said boat.

So – as expected the images of the problems were in the report.  A basic explanation of “adequate” or “outstanding” or “critical” by each item found is there to help the boat purchaser to make their final decision.

Needless to say, my wife and I had questions of each other mostly.  None of the surveyor.  All said, there is little in the boat that needs repair, and that which does is something *I* can do easily with a few hours of work.  My time isn’t cheap at the moment, but will be soon enough.

We signed the acceptance agreement last night about 9pm EST and sent it on to the broker.

We go to close on 7 January 2015.

Anyone interested in a 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Colorado Springs?  Let me know.  We’ll be going on the market in late January to early February.

 

Trip to Florida

We had a great trip to Florida.  Not much sitting in airports, and rented a car that can only be referred to as “a roller skate”.  The think was called a “Chevy Spark”.  I think it was waiting to grow up to be a “Blazer” – but probably never will.

We looked at six boats.  Of those, only two were “close” to what we wanted.  And only two of them were actually boats we had wanted to look at.   The broker with whom we worked was trying to push an Endeavor on us.  While it was a nice boat, it wasn’t what we were looking for and I think he just didn’t “get it”.  It was in our price range and it was a 37 foot boat, and therefore we MUST want it because, well, it was a nice boat.

We tried several times to get him to understand we had reasons for looking for what we were looking for.

All in all though, we ate plenty of sea food, and I could rarely pass up fried oysters (probably not good for me, but they are GOOD).  We got to visit JoAnne’s brother Paul and his wife Cathy and had a lot of fun finding places to eat and driving around seeing the sights there.  We went from Dunedin, to Ft. Desoto driving around, through Largo, Tampa, and several surrounding areas.

Of the actual boats we liked, one was a Formosa; she’d seen better days.  The young fellow who owned her was asking close to 50K for that boat.  I was willing to offer significantly less and the broker told me he likely would not take less.  I wished her well and told her good luck on selling it then.  We found a broken cockpit, engine wouldn’t start, it needed some real help inside and out.  Might have been a steal at 20K and a bargain at 25k, but was robbery at 50K.

The other boat we looked at was an Allied Mistress.  She was not… represented accurately in the ads, though the boat could likely have been had for less than the asking price, it would have been a significant amount of work.

One boat was gorgeous, and Irwin.  Not really what we wanted, but we considered it.  Except the owner came out to let us aboard and show the boat.  And give us a dissertation on what all he “still had to do”.  Oh well, he wasn’t on the market yet and I think he and the broker were fishing myself for someone who needed to spend money.  That wasn’t us.  If he was still working on the boat, he really wasn’t ready to sell.  She was hoping for us to make a huge offer or something, and he was hoping to escape from his boat I think.

Paul looks great.  He’s 73 and had a heart attack last year, and has some problems with his legs, but gets around fine.  But he looks to be in his 50s, not 70s.  Cathy was doing well as well.  Their little home in the retirement community was just right for them, and the community center has a pool (a huge pool) and other things for them to do.

After almost two weeks we had to leave.  It was not easy to leave either.  Florida was warm, the beach was “Right There”, boats were everywhere.  The hotel was just “so-so” but we stayed two weeks and probably anything can go wrong in even expensive places, so no big deal.  But eventually we flew back to chilly weather, we’ve had snow already in Colorado and today we FINALLY get to see JoAnne’s Doctor (her 3 month visit, only it’s now 4 months) for her checkup.

Tomorrow (or tonight) we’ll set a date to put the house back on the market if all is well.

In the mean time, there’s this pretty 40′ Formosa for sale we’re looking at.  I’ve already contacted the broker, we’re looking for a surveyor to hire for a “lookie-see” to advise as to whether we should pursue this one.  The broker has filled me in on all the good and bad of the boat.  We might end up buying this one without flying out to say “Yes” first.

The problem is the boat is pretty far north, and not on the southern coast or Gulf Coast.

JoAnne came up with the perfect solution though; instead of preparing to sail the Caribbean the first year or so, we provision and train for an Atlantic Crossing and head straight up the coast to Maine, Newfoundland, then across to Ireland in the right season.

I can’t say that’s a bad idea either…

Stay tuned.

Headed for a Dock

Well, kind of.  We’re headed down soon to Florida to look over some boats.  Since I’m a little wary about putting travel data out I won’t say when or exactly where yet.  But we’ve got a bunch of boats lined up, one confirmed appointment and the type of boats are all falling in line with our basic requirements.

Each of the boats will be between 34-41 feet long.

Among the top choices were:

Allied Mistress (a 39′ full keeled ketch with an aft cabin)

Morgan Out Island 41 – similar to above

Hallberg-Rassy 35

Morgan 36

O’Day CC

Westsail 32

Those are our absolute top, go-to boats right now.  Among the second place was a Formosa (Actually it’s a CT 41, but based on the same designs as the Formosa 41), a couple of different Irwin models, another Hallberg-Rassy (33′), a couple of larger boats (a 45′ and a 44′) and too far away to look at, but would be on the top of the list if closer to our destination, would be two Gulfstar sloops.

We’ve been aboard a Westsail 42 in the past (if you watching the banner pictures, you’ll see the actual boat, the Kataboo eventually) – but not a 32.  We’ve clambered all OVER a Morgan 41 in the Bahamas that was for sale at one point.  The owner wanted too much money, and we didn’t want to fiddle with trying to get him to drop the price at the time.  The boat was sold later, I hear, to some folks who wanted it to move Haitians off their island, most likely, illegally.  He didn’t get anywhere near what he was asking originally.

I’m partial to a slightly smaller vessel – perhaps 35′ in length.  She is looking for something a bit larger.  We might, or might not have extra crew join us (family members) from time to time and for unknown lengths of time.  There is nothing set in concrete for that and we’re honestly not sure when this might happen, for how long or if the persons in question will do this often or not very often.

Thus we’ve been torn on buying the larger boat and ending up spending more money in repairs and maintenance, or going smaller, more budget-minded and have the extra crew “make do” with the space we allot them.  We feel like they really should come along – they are young and could be helpful, but also at the same time this is really for me and my wife, not to accommodate others.  Don’t get me wrong, we love them dearly and would welcome them.  But you know… decisions, decisions.  Oh their part and ours….

Anyway, truthfully, if we locate a boat that is 34-35 feet long and still has an aft cabin (we have a couple of those) to allow my wife and I privacy and a larger cabin area for the galley and an extra space or three for sleeping, it will be fine.

I really, really, like that Hallberg-Rassey we’re looking at.  I also really, really, really like the Allied Mistress.  Boat good boats, both of them are in our price range.  Both of them have the things already on them we want.  One is a bit much on asking price, the other has some work that is required before you can sail off.

But, we’ll figure it out.

The Broker we’re working with has told us several times to “sign a S&P” form… basically it’s an offer letter.  I don’t want to do that until I SEE boats personally, touch them, look inside, sniff around and do my own mini-survey.  Once I do that, I’ll be in a better position to determine if we’ll have a surveyor come out and do the rest of the job for us.  So – not getting pushed into making an offer on a boat sight-unseen, not buying a boat JoAnne and I both don’t have 100% agreement on, and won’t buy one that isn’t really what either of us want.  We each can veto the others final say on a vessel.

From a practical aspect this is about to be our new home.  We don’t want to live in a camper.  We don’t want to be “camping”.  We want to have some comfort, a nice place to sleep, a dry boat, places to store food, a water maker (eventually), extra power (solar panels and wind generator) and a way to move the boat without an engine (sail, sculling oars, outboard) and a dinghy.  HF radio is part of our lives now (we’re hams) and we’ll take our radio gear with us when we finally leave Colorado.

She has another doctor’s visit in October.  We’re waiting for that appointment to make the final decision on the house.  We’ll likely put it back on the market at the end of October if all works out.  If not, we’ll continue on, regroup as we have in the past and continue keeping on….

Fair Winds!